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Tough times in the toy business as giant Coquitlam store closes

Posters on the windows of the Toys 'R' Us store on Lougheed Highway advise shoppers to visit the company's other stores or to shop online
A poster on the front window of the Toys 'R' Us store in Coquitlam advises shoppers to go to the company's other stores after the Lougheed Highway location closed last week.

Last-minute toy shopping for a birthday is now a bit harder in Coquitlam.

Toys ‘R’ Us has closed its location on Lougheed Highway.

A user on Coquitlam Reddit said they went to visit the expansive store on Saturday, Jan. 13, but found it locked up tight.

On Monday, Jan. 15, posters affixed to the front windows advise shoppers to head to the company’s other nearby locations in Burnaby, Richmond, Langley and Vancouver.

Much of its parking lot has also been taken over with storage containers and the former Bed, Bath and Beyond store that shared the property has been converted to a StorGuard self-storage facility.

The Coquitlam location survived corporate shake-ups in 2018 and 2021.

Three years ago, the 81 toy stores and affiliated Babies ‘R’ Us retailers were acquired by an Ontario investment company from another financial company that had bought the chain from its bankrupt U.S. parent company in 2018.

The Coquitlam closure comes just weeks after shoppers visiting Mastermind Toys across town were advised to use any gift cards they had by Dec. 24 as the company goes through a bankruptcy process that was commenced in November.

And while the Coquitlam store at Westwood Mall remains open, the company has closed 18 of its 66 locations across Canada, including one in Prince George.

According to court documents filed in Ontario, Mastermind said it was forced to seek creditor protection because “of challenging market conditions, which were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.”